There are several theories about Kuvasz sensitivity to anesthetic. Some veterinary experts have told me that sight hounds like the Afghan, Whippet, and Greyhound, are more susceptible than other breeds for some reason. Since Kuvasz have some sight hound characteristics, they are also at risk. Kuvasz also have more sedate demeanors than some other breeds, and apparently that can be an issue as well.

    The general yardstick for administration of anesthetic is a dog's weight. It is a good idea for you to weigh your Kuvasz regularly over the course of a year anyway, since you might not readily notice a weight loss or gain in your adult dog, and a significant unexplained change could alert you to some problem. But it is absolutely imperative that you and your veterinarian know your companion's exact weight when she is about to be anesthetized for some reason. Since dosage is in part dictated by size, and a thick Kuvasz coat can make a dog look heavier and larger, a judgment based on mere appearance can be deceiving and dangerous in this instance.

    Is your Kuvasz a very deep sleeper? Does she have a low energy level? It is important for you to know about these kinds of individual characteristics and pass them along to your veterinarian. The reason it's important is because EVEN FOR DOGS OF THE SAME BREED AND SIZE, DOSAGE OF ANESTHETIC MAY VARY.

    When you consult with your practitioners, please do not allow them to dismiss your concerns. If your veterinarian does not acknowledge the breed's sensitivity, even after you advise them, or they dismiss your apprehension and are patronizing toward you, I would strongly advise you to take your Kuvasz elsewhere. No amount of regret will bring your friend back from the dead.

    You will likely be made aware of the following advice by the staff at your clinic, but just in case they omit some portions:

No food or water for at least 12 hours before and after administration of anesthetic. One of the possibilities is that a dog will vomit when going under or coming out of sedation. Whatever they have ingested could lodge in their windpipe and lungs and could asphyxiate them.
You should have a pre anesthetic blood work done. The work up will provide the staff with information which could save the life of your Kuvasz;

Some dogs that have poor glucose reserves may develop pre-operative hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) because they haven't eaten for 12 hours. Pre-operative diagnosis of dehydration allows for correction which improves recovery following anesthesia.
Liver enzyme elevations (ALKP, ALT, AST) may indicate liver disease, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and other disorders. All of which would delay a planned anesthesia. Many commonly used anesthesia agents are metabolized by the liver and kidney. They should be avoided or used with caution when liver or kidney disease are present. In many cases early kidney and liver disease show no external or clinical symptoms.
Many conditions such as Thrombocytopenia (a bleeding disorder) MUST be diagnosed before surgery to avoid serious complications.

    The following information is from the Encyclopedia Britannica:


Inhaled anesthetics act very quickly because of their rapid access into the bloodstream of the lungs and from there directly into the arterial circulation to the brain. The relationship between the amount of general anesthetic administered and the depression of the brain's sensory responsiveness is arbitrarily, but usefully, divided into four stages. Stage I is the loss of consciousness, with modest muscular relaxation, and is suitable for short, minor procedures. Additional anesthetic induces stage II, in which increased excitability and involuntary activity makes surgery impossible; rapid passage through stage II is generally sought by physicians. Full surgical anesthesia is achieved in stage III, which is further subdivided on the basis of the depth and rhythm of spontaneous respiration, pupil reflexes, and spontaneous eye movements. Stage IV anesthesia is indicated by the loss of spontaneous respiration and the imminent collapse of cardiovascular control.

Not infrequently, general anesthetics are combined with drugs that block neuromuscular impulse transmission. These additional drugs are given to relax muscles in order to make surgical manipulations easier with less suppression of brain activity. Under these conditions, artificial respiration may be required to maintain proper levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. The ideal anesthetic agent allows rapid and pleasant induction (the process that brings about anesthesia), close control of the level of anesthesia and rapid reversibility, good muscle relaxation, and few toxic or adverse effects. Some anesthetics have been rejected for therapeutic use because they form explosive mixtures with air, because of their excessive irritant action on the cells that line the major bronchioles of the lung, or because of their adverse effects on the liver or other organ systems.

General anesthesia can be produced by a wide range of chemicals, and most can be administered by inhalation in mixtures with oxygen, permitting the gases to mix with the arterial blood on penetration through the walls of the alveoli within the lung. Rapid induction requires a potent anesthetic with molecular properties that permit efficient transfer between alveolar air spaces and the pulmonary circulation. This rapid route of administration also permits the rapid washout of blood levels of the anesthetic when oxygen alone is administered. Most inhalation anesthetics are excreted by the lungs with little or no metabolism by the body. Safe anesthesia with general anesthetics, such as the intravenously injected barbiturates, requires very short acting compounds so that the anesthetist can maintain control over the depth of anesthesia while the drug is excreted by the kidney or metabolized by the liver. The mechanism of action of inhalation anesthetics is not well understood.

Except for the naturally occurring gas nitrous oxide, all of the currently used major inhalational anesthetics are hydrocarbons, which are compounds formed of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Each carbon has the potential to bind four hydrogen atoms. The potency of a given series of hydrocarbons depends on the nature of the bonds between the carbons and the degree to which the hydrogen atoms have been replaced with halogens. In the ethers, the carbon atoms are connected through a single oxygen, as in diethyl ether, and again halogen substitution increases potency, as is seen in enflurane, fluroxene, and methoxyflurane. A peculiar, unpredictable, and serious adverse property of halogen anesthetics is their ability to trigger a hypermetabolic reaction in the skeletal muscles of certain susceptible individuals. This potentially fatal response, termed malignant hyperpyrexia, produces a very rapid rise in body temperature, oxygen utilization, and carbon dioxide production.

Rapid, safe, and well-controlled anesthesia can be obtained by the intravenous administration of certain rapidly acting depressants of the central nervous system, such as the barbiturates, the benzodiazepines, or certain synthetic opiates. These systemic anesthetics can be used to produce rapid induction without the discomfort that may accompany induction with the gaseous anesthetics, which are then used to maintain anesthesia. Although opiates such as fentanyl can be used to induce anesthesia, their use is generally limited to very short procedures. Primary advantages are the stability of the cardiovascular system in the presence of this drug and the ability to reverse the effects rapidly with the antagonist drug maloxone. Neither the barbiturates nor the benzodiazepines have any analgesic potency, and barbiturates may, in fact, enhance post surgical sensitivity to pain.